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Ocean Mandalas Use Found Natural Materials

Anyone can make a mandala from natural objects collected wherever you are. Our family made 7 Ocean Mandalas, using materials we found along the shore of Vancouver Island near Bowser. Just think of your design as playing with circles, symmetry, concentric rings, the four directions, or a big pie (yummmm!) Start setting out your mandala from the center (or you can mark out the boundary of your circle and work in) and see where your imagination and creativity take you. This is a fun activity for parents and kids of all ages.

Ocean Mandala with natural objects
Making mandalas from natural objects you find on-site can be a playful or a quiet meditative activity.

At our family reunion on Vancouver Island this past weekend, some of us made mandalas of shore materials we found in the forest and on the beach. Natural object mandalas are– by their very nature — ephemeral, and will be destroyed by the tides, wind, wildlife and time. Yet the making of these circular designs gives so much pleasure it doesn’t really matter that they won’t last long.

Mandala of Natural Objects
Tom and Kat made this mandala using a barnacle-covered cinder block monolith, red seaweed, driftwood sticks, oyster shells on-edge, and some wild mustard.
Ocean Mandala of natural objects
Martina’s mandala has bilateral symmetry, and includes a border of seaweed, and in the center, she used driftwood, grasses and shells

As the evening cooled, we walked around admiring the mandalas … then later watched as Tom and Kat’s mandala was washed away by the incoming tide. I love thinking of beach-walkers stumbling across our mandalas and wondering about the makers. I hope these photos inspire you to make your own mandalas, no matter where you are.

Ocean Mandala of natural objects
Amy and her family made this sweet circle filled with offerings from the sea… tiny crabs, shore plants, seed pods, flower petals, shells and little bits of driftwood.
Ocean Mandala of natural objects
Margie and daughters created this wonderful mandala with concentric rings of seashells, plus driftwood, stone towers, flowers and leaves.
Ocean Mandala of natural objects
Tim and Maureen created their mandala with oyster shells, douglas fir cones, ivy leaves, foxglove, yarrow, driftwood, fir and cedar boughs.
Ocean mandala of natural objects
Moira and Brian worked side by side to creaste this stony mandala on a bed of beach stones… they chose lighter colored stones to contrast with the dark shore, and added shells, seed pods, and grasses tied in bundles as a circular boundary.
Ocean Mandala of natural objects
Marybeth and Sons …. played and worked together to create the most subtle of all the mandalas. They used stones, driftwood, shells, yarrow and shoreline grasses.